A Virginia judge has ordered Bill White, the Virginia neo-Nazi and convicted felon who faces federal charges for violating the terms of his supervised release, to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, The Roanoke Times reports.
White, 35, is a notorious Internet gossip who was released in April 2011 after spending more than two years in prison on multiple charges of threatening enemies through phone calls and Internet postings. But he missed a scheduled check-in with his probation officer the next month and disappeared from his Lynchburg home. In May, he wrote on Facebook that he had accepted “an offer of asylum from a foreign nation that shares my view that the United States government is not legitimate. I shall not be returning.”
White indicated on Facebook that his new location was Tehran, but he was arrested on June 8 near the Mexican resort town of Cancun and has been in federal custody since.
Questions about his state of mind arose after he sent supporters and federal authorities a series of bizarre screeds describing the U.S. as a “demonic dream” from whose hold he had broken free.
In a letter sent in mid-June to the Roanoke federal building, White declared that while in prison he was given drugs that led him to communicate “with beings that … allowed [him] to explore certain hidden and obscured aspects of human experience.”
Neither the court nor the proceedings against him are real – and neither is he, he proclaimed. “[T]here is no white supremacist William A White. … I cannot be William White because William White does not exist.”
The federal prosecutor assigned to the case joined White’s defense attorney, Paul Beers, in requesting the evaluation. “Given some of the writings we've seen come from Mr. White's pen recently, I think it would warrant a full evaluation,” said U.S. Attorney Pat Hogeboom, according to the Times.
Some of White’s supporters have speculated that White is in control of his mental faculties and that his letters are merely an attempt to manipulate the court.
“It is not clear whether … Bill has gone crazy, is trying to pull the clerk’s leg, is trying to convince the court that he is crazy or is up to some cunning plot. Inquiring minds want to know,” wrote one commenter on his fan blog.
On the white supremacist forum Vanguard News Network (VNN), another commenter speculated that White’s statement “William White does not exist” suggests that the Virginia neo-Nazi has bought into, or is pretending to buy into, a theory popular in the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement. “My guess is that Bill is attempting a garbled version of the straw man freeman capital letters name argument,” the commenter wrote.
White’s next hearing is set for Sept. 12 at the U.S. District Court in Roanoke.